Spring Runoff marks its 30th year in grand style

by | Feb 10, 2008 | News Articles

Spring Runoff marks its 30th year in grand style

It’s been 30 years since The Pueblo Chieftain’s Spring Runoff made its magical debut on the Pueblo road racing calendar, and race officials are determined to make it a special anniversary this year. So they’ve cooked up a few extra touches to mark the occasion.
The shirts for this year’s extravaganza, scheduled for March 2 at Dutch Clark Stadium, are white, long-sleeved technical shirts that are popular for their excellent moisture-wicking technology. They will bear a left-breast version of the Runoff logo that was designed by Pueblo artist Kathy Godec.

The top overall masters (40 years of age or older) male and female runners in the 5-kilometer, 10K and 10-mile divisions will receive special awards created by Dan Miller and Robert Sweeney of the Pueblo Woodturners. Both top age-division runners and all 2-mile walkers will receive special medals containing the new Runoff logo.

Larry Lopez, Chieftain city editor and one of the original founders of the race, has been brought into the celebration. Lopez, who has run many of the previous 29 Springs Runoffs, fittingly will be official race starter.

Meanwhile, those who want to register online can do so via the Southern Colorado Runners website and avoid paying the standard $2 fee charged by the company that usually handles this service. Too, SCR members who register by Feb. 22 get a $2 discount.

Packet pickup for registrants will be held at The Chieftain (825 W. 6th Street) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 29 and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. the day before the race. All those who pick up their packets before race day will have their names included in a drawing for free merchandise.

As in the past, the Runoff will include a 1-mile Funner to be a Runner run and a 60-yard toddler race for young kids. The toddler race will take place at 8:45 a.m., prior to the 9 a.m. start of the walk and running divisions.

Runners and walkers who attempted but were unable to register online on Feb. 6 should be aware that the problem was caused by a technical glitch associated with the company that hosts the Southern Colorado Runners’ web server. The problem was solved by that evening thanks to discussions between the company and the SCR’s acting president and computer guru Ken Raich.


To get a “feel” for the Runoff’s 10K course, runners can participate in the Runoff Tuneup, a Prediction Series race scheduled at 9 a.m. this Sunday near the City Park swim pool parking lot. The course covers the Runoff’s course; it just has a different starting and finishing site. This is a no-frills run with no entry fee, no T-shirts, etc.

Registration for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon will again be done totally online and will begin March 12. The Ascent is limited to the first 1,800 entries and the marathon 800.

A new race – the Diabetic Group 5K – is being added to the Pueblo race calendar this year and will be held May 10, and City Park and Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project area courses are being considered. It may be a morning race, although having it prior to an outdoor evening concert on the Riverwalk also is a possibility.


Mark Gurule, 45, of Pueblo qualified for the Boston Marathon in his first 26.2-mile race by recording an excellent 3:22 time in the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Marathon in Phoenix recently, easily beating the 3:30 qualifying standard for his age. Gurule has been running since 2002, and his first race was the 5K course in the 2005 Spring Runoff. Helping him celebrate in Arizona was his wife, Deborah, who ran a 2:20 half-marathon there.

Joining Gurule and the entire Boston race field on April 21 will be seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Armstrong, 36, qualified with a 2:46 time in the 2007 New York City Marathon in the fall and beat his qualifying standard by 29 minutes.

The Colorado Colfax Marathon will have a new course when it is held May 18. The previously used point-to-point excursion from Aurora to Lakewood has been axed to one that will start and finish in City Park and should be much more runner-friendly because of the enhanced scenery and shaded portions. The event also includes a half-marathon and marathon relay.


The Harvest Moon Duathlon and Half-Ironman on Sept. 14 is adding an AquaBike race for those who would prefer skipping the half-marathon after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles. The three races have a combined limit of 500 entrants.

The Prospect Lake sprint triathlon held in Colorado Springs the past two years in June will not be held this year for sponsorship reasons. But the Rocky Mountain State Games triathlon will again be held at that same venue in early August.


Planning ahead, the Great Divide’s previous St. Patrick’s Day social ride has evolved into the Spring Fling and will be held on April 6 at the Airport Industrial Park. This also is an opportunity to demo ride new Specialized and Trek bike models.

The fifth annual Red Canyon Century in Canon City is scheduled for June 14. It has 25-, 50- and 104-mile routes.

Applications are due Feb. 22 for those wanting to get in the lottery to be among the 2,000 cyclists selected for this year’s Ride the Rockies, which will begin June 15 in Durango and cover 435 miles to its finish in Breckenridge on June 21. The next day, the popular Bicycle Tour of Colorado will begin its loop course in Durango.

Race Calendar

• Sunday – Spring Runoff Tuneup (Prediction Series race), 10K, City Park (564-0847).
• March 2 – Spring Runoff, toddler 60-yard, 1M youth fun run, 2M walk and 5k, 10K and 10M runs, Dutch Clark Stadium (547-2777).
• April 12 – John Neumann Panther Run, 5K, 8 a.m. (details TBA).


• Southern Colorado Runners: www.socorunners.org/
• Pikes Peak Road Runners: www.pprrun.org/
• Pikes Peak Ascent, Marathon: www.pikespeakmarathon.org/
• Ride the Rockies: www.ridetherockies.com
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at garyf@bresnan.net.